Delta â€“ A
We had no major problems on our Delta flights. I placed my dress bag in the overhead bins, but I did see another bride on one leg of my flight have her dress placed in the 1st class closet. I wasnâ€™t too concerned about it as my dress had no petticoat and didnâ€™t seem to wrinkle easily. One our return flight leaving Montego Bay we were upgraded to 1st class!!! We didnâ€™t know till we got on the plane we had been upgraded. Iâ€™ve never flown 1st class before and it took the sadness of leaving away a littleâ€¦so it was a great surprise.
Riu MoBay â€“ A
We did get everything that was part of our wedding package. There was a bottle of rum delivered to our room. We had towel animals and decorations every day left by the maid (I was a hotel maid in college & know how much this job stinks, so we did leave a tip daily). We also got breakfast in bed the next morning. I didnâ€™t even know that breakfast in bed the next morning was part of the package, so that was a nice surprise. As far as the Riu and the WC at the resort goes, we couldnâ€™t have asked for more.
We got through customs and immigration pretty quickly and were on the bus to the resort in no time. After a short 10 min ride we arrived at the resort. We arrived at the same time as another couple we had meet on the bus and we all checked in together. We were given a glass of rum punch while we checked in. The other couples room was ready right away, but ours was not (we arrived early, so we expected this). They took our bags and we headed to the buffet for lunch while they finished our room. We headed straight for the jerk ht on the beach and had some good chicken.
After we finished lunch we went back to the front desk and our room was ready. We were on the top floor of building 5. We had a beautiful view of the mountains behind the resort. We didnâ€™t pay for an ocean view and were perfectly happy with the one we got. The way this resort is built, there is a small percentage of ocean view rooms compared to non-ocean viewâ€¦.so donâ€™t expect an upgrade. Your chances are very slim. If you want the view, pay for it upfront.
We were changing into our swimsuits and Chantelle the WC called to greet us and set up a time for a meeting. We meet her around 5pm and went over the details. There are 3 main locations on the resort for the weddings. The beach gazebo, plaza gazebo, and west end beach. Joel and I want to be on the beach, so we never considered the plaza gazebo. After looking at the location of the beach gazebo, we picked the west end beach. The gazebo is beautiful but it is literally right in the middle of the beach. If you have the 4pm wedding time, you will likely be fine, but earlier weddings will have to deal with lots of people watching and possibly getting in your pictures.
I gave her my music CD and cake topper at the meeting. I also picked my bouquet. It was the free tropical mix bouquet. We also got to pick our cake. We could choose chocolate or vanillaâ€¦we couldnâ€™t decide, so they made us one layer of each.
We spent the rest of the day, and the next one lounging around the beach and pool.
The resort was very clean and well kept. Here and there you can see minor flaws that show you they did rush a little when they were completing the resortâ€¦but nothing major. The staff was very friendly and work long hours. Our room was cleaned daily, fridge restocked, etc. We never had problems with towels, bugs, or any of the stuff I read on Trip Advisor.
We found the food at the resort to be pretty good for the most part. One important thing you have to remember is that most of it will have a Jamaica twist to it. The buffet was very large and changed slightly from night to night. (They did have theme nights with signature cocktails, etc) There was always a section of the buffet that was dedicated to local Jamaican dishes, which was really fun to try. If you are a super picky unadventurous eater you might have trouble, but Joel and I love to try new stuff and had fun trying unusual fruits and food weâ€™d never seen before. There are 3 specialty restaurants on the property. We were able to eat at 2. The Asian themed restaurant was the only disappointment. It was so-so and could use a little improvement. We had our wedding dinner at the Italian restaurant. We thought it was fine and the seafood risotto was pretty good. The steak house was booked the first 2 days we were there and not opened for the other nights (they said they were deep cleaning and renovatingâ€¦but we think it was due to low occupancy) so we never got a chance to eat there.
Wedding Day â€“ We got up and had breakfast at the buffet then I headed to the spa to get my hair done. Joel headed for the pool to have a drink and relax. The hair stylist copied a picture I brought with me perfectly. She did a great job and was very gentleâ€¦so if you have a sensitive headâ€¦donâ€™t worry.
I meet Joel back at the room and he showered and dressed while I did my makeup. At 1:45 he left to go meet the minister and I changed into my dress. Chantelle called me around 1:55 to see if I was ready. She came to my room, zipped up my dress, gave me my bouquet (which was perfect), and we were off.
She had me wait out of view and told me to start walking when I heard our music start playing. I was holding it together really well until the music startedâ€¦it was at that moment that started I started to get emotional. I honestly donâ€™t remember too much of the ceremonyâ€¦itâ€™s all a lovely blur.
Even though it was just the 2 of us, we had a small crowd watching (even a snorkel boat with about 30 people on it) that cheered for us as we kissed. I didnâ€™t expect that and it was kind fun. We were taken to a small table to sign our documents and given a glass of champagne. We drank and took pictures; it was very easy going and relaxed.
After our pictured were done they gave us the bottle of champagne and we headed to the couches in the lobby to sit, relax, and drink our champagne. Walking around the resort all dressed up gets you quite a bit of attention, so be prepared to stop and pose for pictures, etc.
We had our dinner in the Italian restaurant. There was another wedding that day, so the other wedding party was also there having there reception. Dinner was great. We have no complaints. After our meal they brought us our cake with our topper on it. The cake was allot bigger than I thought it was going to be. It was 2 layers and white with pink accents. Joel and I were floored when they brought this cake that was way too big for 2 people over to our table. The other wedding party did have the same cake.
Renova Spa â€“ A
The ladies at the Spa were all very nice and I felt very welcome. I took a page I had ripped from a magazine with me and she was able to copy it perfectly.
Photoshop Photography â€“ C
Photoshop screwed up our pictures and we left the resort without having seen any. We got married on Saturday and left on Tuesday, so they had plenty of time, but our proofs were never delivered to the resort. (Why they take them all the way to Ocho Rios and back I donâ€™t understand). We did get the very low res proofs sent to us via e-mail, which I have now, but my pictures have to be mailed to me instead of taking them home with me. Itâ€™s kinda a bummer, and I was pretty upset at the time.
Cool Runnings Party Boat to Dunns River â€“ A
We booked the Cool Runnings day trip for one of the tour desks at the resort. We paid $105 per/person for the trip. We might have been able to find it for cheaper elsewhereâ€¦but we didnâ€™t look around. It is an all day trip. The bus picks you up at the resort at 9:30am. You then take a bus ride for about 1.5 hours to Ocho Rios. We made 2 stops on the way; One stop at a lookout point and another at Discovery Park. They did give a little guided narration along the way telling us about the sights and history, which made the long drive go faster.
We arrived at the location where we were going to load onto the catamaran. We were feed a lunch of mild Jerk Chicken before getting on the boat. The boat was pretty large and does have bathrooms on board. Our first stop was a snorkeling spot. They did provide masks and fins, but Joel and I have our own and didnâ€™t need them. After snorkeling for a while we got back on board and headed up the coast to Dunns River Falls.
Coming into the falls from the water instead of the parking lot was so much better and just beautiful (this was not my 1st trip to the falls). Hint â€“ if you have water shoes bring them! If you donâ€™t, you will have to rent them. Also bring a waterproof camera. You get divided into groups and start to climb the falls. It takes over an hour, but is a ton of fun. They take pics and video along the way. (They will use your camera I you have one). We did buy the DVD afterwards of our climb for $40 and were pretty impressed with what we got.
After climbing the falls you get back on the boat. That is when they break out the booze. It was endless rum punch, rum & cokes, and beer. There is a DJ onboard and tons of dancing (which gets better and better and people drink). It was a blast and we had allot of fun.
Leroy Brown Private Bus to Negril â€“ C
We had made some friends at the resort and decided one day to all take a trip to Negril. We walked of the grounds to find a private taxi driver to hire. There were 10 of us in all. (6 adults and 4 teens). Before leaving we had (we thought) settled on a price of $30 per/person. We gave Leroy $100 upfront. There was a small fridge on board, so we emptied our room fridges of Red Stripe and soda and filled the bus fridge. Leroy drove us to Negril and we had full control of where we wanted to go. After a leisurely trip to Negril with stops along the way we went to 7 mile beach. We were dropped off at Tree House, but grabbed chairs in front of Margaritaville. The beach and water there are amazing and we spent a long time there. Some of our friends parasailed. Then it was off to Rickâ€™s CafÃ© for sunset and cliff diving. If you go to Negril this is a must do! It was amazing! On our way back to Riu MoBay we stopped off at the Pork Pit on the Hip Strip for some super yummy Jerk Chicken. Once back at the resort we started to off load the bus when the trouble began. Our friends went to pay the balance and Leroy changed the price to $40 per/person. Everyone got all upset and it totally killed all the fun we had just had. Now we would have had no problem paying the $40 per/person and would have thought that was fairâ€¦but it was more the fact that he had changed the price and then denied that he had ever said $30. If it had been $40 from the beginningâ€¦no problem mon. Lesson learned.
All in all we had a pretty perfect time. I wouldnâ€™t change a thingâ€¦.ok one thingâ€¦.I would have liked the trip to have been longer.
Here are our pro proofs:
Pro Proofs - a set on Flickr